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Thread: Bike vs. Pike

  1. #1
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    Bike vs. Pike

    So I have recently taken possession of my third Turner, a Burner 3.1 and it is an amazing machine. Took advantage of one of the great Turner direct deals and got the upgrade kit that included a set of Stan's wheels, a 150mm Pike Solo air and FSA headset up front, and a set of knobby nics. I am a CC rider by history, and the Burner is my first move into the all mountain category coming off of an 08 Flux with a TNT rear. The dramatic difference in the rear suspension between the two bikes needs no further discussion. And for full disclosure I have only ridden one other mid travel/ all mountain rig before (Ibis HD).

    The point of my post is that , although the Pike is by far the finest fork I have ever ridden, I find that it pales in comparison to the capabilities of Dave's sweet DW link on the Burner. I have tried all manner of tuning from no tokens up to 2 tokens, air pressures from 55-75 Psi, and compression damping at every setting.

    I'm 5'11 about 178-180 geared up, I set my basic Fox CTD at 155 psi, well within spec. Despite my CC Roots I like plush and the Burner is a dream for that. I'm just not able to get the balance I think the bike deserves out of this fork. For example, I have experienced harsh bottoming out in the front on nearly every ride (with clean drops, sloppy transitions, and variants thereof) but never in the rear, even with level or rear wheel landings off of 3 footers that bottom the front. I also find that while the fork is good over rock gardens and roots, I find myself bracing for rear wheel hits that just never come based on the feedback I get thru the bars.

    The fork holds air, rebound damping is intact and set up pretty fast. Put into service mid July and has maybe 30 hours on it.

    Does any of this make sense? Am I missing a tuning technique?

  2. #2
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    What is the serial number on the back of the crown. Some early model Pikes had an issue with the main seal in the Charger seal head. I'm in the process of getting mine rebuilt. Here is the link.

    Long Term Report: Rockshox Pike Charger Damper

  3. #3
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    If it sounds like a sucking chest wound its probably seal problem and air in the dampner. Other than that i have issues getting my pike to perform to the level i want.. RFX will have Avalanche dampner in a lyric to remedy the problem..

    Might be worth looking into a dampner upgrade instead of sacking the whole shock should you not be able to fix it.

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    Serial number is 24T51961565.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdakaR View Post
    If it sounds like a sucking chest wound its probably seal problem and air in the dampner. Other than that i have issues getting my pike to perform to the level i want.. RFX will have Avalanche dampner in a lyric to remedy the problem..

    Might be worth looking into a dampner upgrade instead of sacking the whole shock should you not be able to fix it.
    If that's the case why not just go with the Yari and stick the avy open bath damper in that? Same chassis, air spring, and $220 cheaper. I was looking at this as well but it seems a pity to scrap the charger damper right off the bat.

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    Will be riding it stock untill summer times i think, going to order when i'm back to my normal weight (and that would probably take some time)

  7. #7
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    I've had a similar experience with the Pike and the rear end of my Warden. If I set it up so it's supple enough in the initial stroke it bottoms too easily, and with more air it feels harsh over the smaller stuff. Maybe I need to invest in a couple more tokens?

  8. #8
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    Another option is to send the charger damper to Avalanche and have them do their retune and midvalve mod. That said, you might try another her token or two first.

    One other thing. Have you dropped the lowers and changed the lower bath oil? My son's 2015 boxxer started getting real sticky at 20 hours. Dropped the lowers to find no oil on one side and a few drops on the other. Unfortunately it is not uncommon to have a fork that is misfiled.

    I have a feeling your issue is related to either a defect in the fork or setup. While I am not a big Rockshox fan, even the guys who find the Pike not to their liking say it is a good feeling fork. You are at the right weight for the stock internals, so I would look closer before replacing or having it modified.

    Sorry for the rambling, long day already.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD so please forgive the typos that occur when typing with two fingers.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

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    Thanks for all the feedback. So Cary, you're saying I could go up to four tokens? I'm down for anything that improves this. I have not disassembled the fork yet.

    ALSO - forgot to mention this at first. I find that my Pike seems to not fully rebound after compression. If I lean on it and let it rebound under its own power, it stops short at around the 5-7% sag mark on the leg. I can lift up on the bars and get it to fully extend, but there remains a small amount of play at the top. Is this common/normal?

  10. #10
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    I'm a touch lighter than you at 78kg ready to ride (170lbs) and struggled with the Pike RC (160mm 26") for the most part of a year.
    I think I simply ran the fork too soft, from 50-60psi to try and get small bump compliance. I think the fork is great for high speed stuff (IE bike park) but I've basically settled on 75psi, no tokens and rebound about 3-4 clicks from full open (fast). It performs much better all round at the higher pressure range for my weight which was a little counter intuitive.

    This is not to say I'm 100% happy with it, but erring with the higher pressure seems to have helped.

    NB. Very important edit. I had Dougal remove half the compression stack! Way too harsh out of the box.

  11. #11
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    I will say that I am becoming a mattoc homer but people should try that fork. To me, it fits nicely between the pike and Fox 36. I have now ridden a pike, a 2015 36 float and have a mattoc. The pike is great on the small stuff and mid stuff but as you mentioned, it gives up its travel really easily. The tokens help a ton and can help to give perfect ride. I have a reba on my 29'r and the pike really does feel like a bigger, stiffer reba, which is a really good thing - I actually love my Reba. The fox 36 I rode was OK on the big stuff but felt way over damped and never seemed to use much of its travel - and felt like it. Travel should be about quality and not always quantity and the Float to me was the worst. The pike uses all its travel and does it in a not terrible way. The mattoc to me, is the middle fork (in a good way) that has the small stuff sensitivity of the Pike (maybe a little less) but just as good if not better middle and big hit capability. It has the same issues as the others with a self-controlled negative air spring - which I think is a problem on all air forks - including my reba - but is really easy to work on. Honestly, on my 5-Spot, the mattoc is making my Pushed rear end feel sub-par. I think people need to think outside of the box. There are lots of options that, in my mind are significant better than a Pike or Fox. Manitou is one, and I bet the MRP and DVO are others.
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  12. #12
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    What model Pike? The RC or RCT3? I have an RC and had problems with plushness. Initially found an issue with the compression adjustment dial. It had been tightened down in the open position with half of the compression adjustment already on, so could never set the compression adjustment open enough. Reset it so the adjustment dial and the underlying compression rod both started at the same place. It is easy to muck up. Best way I've found to fix it was to tighten down the dial and compression rod in the fully closed position.

    That helped, but after riding a friend's RCT3, it still wasn't as good and it lost composure in high speed rock gardens. So I got the Fast Suspension charger upgrade fitted, a world of difference, plush on the small stuff, controlled on the big stuff. It's great also having HSC adjustment.

  13. #13
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    I've owned about 10 FOX Fit forks. Love em. Switched to a PIKE RCT3, on 5 Spot 2 years ago, I like it better than FOX 34 FIT. I like the PIKE enough to buy a 2nd one for my Singlespeed. But I will say this, FOX 34 Fit is way more plush. I think FOX forks offer better performance/comfort, for cross country style riding. No doubt in my mind. When I am dropping 2000 or 3000 feet, pretty fast, I'll take a PIKE up front every time. When I'm on a lazy, chill ride, just cruising around slowish for fun, the PIKE is a tad stiff. Fox is more plush. Vespasianus, cool info, I don't know how we can test ride those other forks, without dropping major coin.

  14. #14
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    I am a mechanic and have found that most Pikes ship from the factory with the lowers lacking oil and the Charger damper low on fluid. I just serviced a Charger damper the other day and it was down 6ml's of oil. Just a thought.
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  15. #15
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    Is there anyone in the US distributing Fast Suspension products? I would like to do the charger upgrade to my Pike.

  16. #16
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    I've had fast suspension for my boxxer, it was great but customer service and france isnt really a good mix.. so get the ava, it will probably be basically the same

  17. #17
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I have an avalanche modded pike, it's plush and sensitive. I also have a DVO diamond, it doesn't impress me unfortunately. Not as plush, sensitive, high speed blowoff doesn't seem to work well, etc.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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